ZuLady photos!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My good friend Kari, from TreasureLayne Photography, took Zuri out for her annual photoshoot just awhile back, and I'm finally getting around to posting some!

I'm mildly obsessed with all the pictures, but the last photo that I posted tugs at my heart string and makes my soul smile.

   Check out Kari and her skills at TreasureLayne Photography.








Oh! I almost forgot the best part... She gives you a disc of all the edited photos in black and white and color, plus the prints, in the cutest little package ever! Bonus!

Hi.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I'm 25 in 5....4....3....2.... And yup.

I'm officially 25 and 30 seconds old.

Incase you weren't aware, well, 25 is half of 50.

25 is 5 years shy of 30.

And I remember my dad being 25. Weird.

Where has the time gone?

Here's to being 1/4 of a century old!

Question #1 Part TWO

Friday, September 21, 2012

So what makes mine and Bronsons relation ship great? I think it's the fact that we know it's not.

We are constantly trying to make it better because we know it could always be better than what it currently is.

Weve more recently have become completely honest with each other and our selves... This has changed our marriage for the better drastically, in my opinion. He lets me be me and I encourage him to be him. We know our relation is far from perfect, but we also have figured out what works for us....and what were doing now works for us.

We did things completely backwards getting married. Completely. But for us, thats how it had to happen. We needed it that way.....and I cant tell you why. God works in mysterious ways, and the way our story has played out is a part of a bigger plan.

I dont condone doing what we did, by the way. Not at all. 50% of marriages fail when the couples do everything the "right" way anyways, so going into it the way we did, the odds weren't in our favor.

We got married too young and out of fear. But we knew we loved each other like crazy. Even now, when we think about it, we might argue, and not be on the same page sometimes, and then throw our 2 kids going crazy into the mix.... Things arent smiles and giggles all the time-they just arent. but there's no one I'd rather be doing this with than him. And he feels the same way and about me.

I really like him a lot, too, on top of loving him....There's a difference, you know. You have to stay "in like" as much as you have to stay in love. He makes me laugh and is my best and truest friend.

At the end of each day we love each other like crazy... We've tried not to, even. Swear. There have been horrible, ugly points in our marriage where nothing made sense and both of us have wanted to call it quits. And it didn't work. Literally, we couldn't not love each other. We love each other and our family too much, and that's what keeps this crazy ship afloat.

If I had to make a list of the why our marriage has succeeded so far it would be:

1) We have fun together- we make it a huge priority to just have fun. Being married doesn't mean you sit inside all day and eat dinner at 5, watch tv, then go to sleep at 10. We do fun stuff all the time.

2) We have the same friends. His friends are my friends, and my friends are his friends. And most importantly, they're fiends with our kids. We're a package deal and our friends know that..... And I feel like they love it. They fall in love with our kids and visa versa. It wouldn't work any other way.

3) We make goals together... We talk about our future and get excited about it all the time.

4) We spice things up. Haha. Monotony equals death in the Christensen fam...We're spontaneous. We try new stuff. We don't live by schedules.

5) We don't go to bed mad. We work things out so resentment doesn't build. And this might be going off on a bit if a tangent.. But I feel like it's important to argue (not ugly/yell argue.... Just more like disagree) in front your kids, because this is inevitiable...but it's sooo important to show them how to overcome disagreements and make up correctly. I feel like the worst thing you could do is start a fight In front of your kids, and then not want to fight In front Of them, so you just end it right there by walking away, or ignoring the issue. I want my kids to see that disaggrements will always happen, and I also want them to see a healthy way to resolve those disagreements.

6) We respect each other and we respect ourselves. If one of us feels disrespected we tell each other right away.

7) We go to counseling! I'm so
Surprised by the amount of people that think this is a negative thing.... Like things must not be going good in our marriage or something by talking with a counselor. Talking to a professional family therapist is proactive in my eyes, and only helps us deal with issues that arise. Some people go to a financial planner to help manage their money correctly, right? Well, we go to a family counselor to help manage our family correctly. It doesn't happen frequently, but when issues come up-we go. And I love it. I look forward to it, actually. It helps get to to the root of everything and we understand each other so much more after a session. It feels really good.

8) I heard someone make an analogy once about the way a muscle is made stronger, and the correlation it has to ones life. Tiny microscopic tears occur when you stress your muscle (I.e. weight lift, run, etc...) Then, tissue goes into those tears to rebuild and repair the muscle, therefore, making it bigger and stronger. With every tear, mistake, and negative point in our marriage, we've used it as a way to become stronger... This means putting our egos away... Putting stubbornness away, and letting go of the past. It's not easy, but if you want a healthy marriage, it's what has to happen. A lot of personal and emotional healing has to go Into this, and it takes time and a lot of effort. But it can happen if you want it badly enough.

9) And finally, our kids. Our kids are first in everything we do. They are the glue that bonds us so tightly together and everything we do is for them. We never look at them as a nuisance, or bother. They are the most important things to both of us, and honestly, the light in our lives. The yway brons loves our kids makes me love him even more. And I know it's the same for him about me.

Qestion #1 part ONE

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Q: You guys seem so in love, how do you make your marriage work? Any tips? Advice?

A: First of all.... This is BRONSON'S ANSWER. I vaguely mentioned I wanted his side of this Q&A one night long ago, and low and behold- this was in my inbox the very next day. Boy, that man can still surprise me. And just when I think I have him all figured out...haha. So here it is:



Wes wanted me to write a little bit about marriage, our marriage, and how amazing it is and how we are so happy and perfect always, everyday.  So, who ever might read this here you go....

Marriage is HARD. I am not going to say its not because I would be lying to everyone, and myself. Ive done some really hard things but they haven't come anything close to this.  I will tell you one thing, though, its unbelievable.

Wes and I started dating our senior year in High School, we were sooo in love. I couldn't be away from her for longer than 2 hours, literally. I would start getting light headed or something weird-maybe hot flashes, can guys get those? Anyway, a couple months later we both graduated and then moved to sugar house. We went to school up there.
 I went to Salt Lake Community College (cause I suck ass at school) and my baby boo went to the U of U (cause she's a brain and on that next level) it was a fun time...we got crazy up there. I didn't have a job and I was taking yoga and math (I love math) weird, but I love knowing that when you add this number and times it with that number, and then you divide that number by this number....you get this answer, a correct answer. I'm now just rambling that's probably why I never write anything, ever. 
Anyway Wes was my suga mama at the time-she was making like 8 dollars an hour at Pei Wei. ha ha Babe, you're funny. We were living up there and Wes decided school was lame and she wanted to be an Esthetician, so she left the U and went back down to the highland area to attend school. 
So what did I do? I dropped out and followed her... I started working at this security company called APX Alarm getting homeowners set up with alarm systems in their homes. It was shitty, I hated it.

Lets fast forward a couple months, We were at my parents house hanging out and i tell wes i think shes pregant.... I dont know. I just had this feeling. Wes says theres no possible way. But then she starts counting and realizes maybe shes off a few days.  My heart sunk and I say "umm, shit. well lets go to Harmon's and get some pregnancy tests." We go to the store then get back and go down stairs....I have her pee in a cup just so we can get it perfect. Right after shes done peeing mymom yells "Wes!" She goes upstairs to cut pomegranates with my mom, random, I know....So I'm alone in the bathroom-I stick the test in and BOOM + sign glowing purple. Pretty sure it was flashing like the hand on the street lights when you cross.
 So I run upstairs look at Wes-I'm probably looking like a ghost I'm so white and say where are the keys to the car? (the other test was in there) I grab it run downstairs and BOOM same thing + sign literally the second I put it in.
 I tell Wes we need to go. We get in the car drive up the road turn off the car and I tell her shes 100% pregs. She started crying, I prob cried too, shh. just kidding crying is good, its healthy and cool. Anyway,we talk about whats next. I remember grabbing her face and Saying "lets get married, Ive always known you were the one, this has just sped up the process a little". ha. We go back to my parents and tell them we just found out that we're having a baby. Luckily my parents are the most amazing people you have ever met and they tell us they are there for whatever we need. Wes calls her mom (yeah she CALLED) and told her over the phone. Her mom goes "give me a sec," ....she puts the phone down, we hear her take a couple deep breaths... she gets back on and says "ok, lets plan a wedding."  

And by the way, we have $400 to our names combined. I had like $100 she had $300 and we are getting married in 3 months. Our wedding was AMAZING! We made some cash, thank the lord. We move into this little ghetto place, I am still working at APX and Wes is working at the Sanctuary Day Spa in Salt Lake. For some reason I start making A LOT of money-like 5k every 2 weeks...the good old Lord knew we needed it. So, we save up, 6 months later we buy a condo, a month later we have this beautiful amazingly perfect little girl named Zuri, zuzu monster, zulu etc. 
So now we have a little baby, I remember leaving the hospital with this tiny tiny little human and they say "see ya!", Im looking at the nurse like WHERE THE HELL is my manual? They don't give you one, i guess. 

So we take her home and we just raised her and loved her how we wanted to. We never read those stupid books on how to raise your child or whatever,they're BS. I think we did a good job..dont you,babe? 
Lets fast forward a year or so. My brother dallas went out every summer and knocked on doors selling alarms for the same company just outside not over the phones. He talked me into going to florida and selling for the summer, (he said I could do SOOOOO good!) I didn't. I lost a lot of my savings and now we move back... dirt poor. 
I hate alarm systems now, and I have always been into fashion and design. So I talk to wes and I say "babe, look, were in the shitter right now, let me take the last couple hundred dollars we have and buy a plane ticket to NY to take this internship with an agency that works with some of the top Designers in the world like Marc Jacobs, and LVHM Louie Vuitton Moet Hennessy etc." She goes "alright ill let you go do your thing." 
I was gone forever it seemed like-I come back and say" babe, lets move to LA." 2 weeks after I got back we moved downtown LA. 
I worked for a handbag designer out there, and a company called G-Star on the side. Wasnt making a lot of money especially living in LA.... Remember, we didn't have much money going out there in the first place, but it was an adventure. About 7 months later Wes says "Bronson I think its time for Zuri to have a sister"(Zuri is 2 at this time) I go, "ummmmm.....". A month or so later we find out Wes is pregs.  Haha

Im working my ass off out in CA making nothing and I find out that my best friend Cody and his friend Jef are starting this bottled water company called People Water, and they are moving to CA. They stay with us in our tiny little studio apt. Wes is getting really sick with the morning sickness and everything else that comes along with making a human, so we talked about me staying out here and helping Cody and Jef work on this idea (People Water) to see if anything will come out of it. Wes decides it would be best for her to come back to UT to be with our parents so they can help out. I stay out in CA coming up with all the logos and design stuff for People Water-months and months go by and nothing is happening. I am spending hours and hours on this people water shit and not getting paid a dime while working 2 other jobs...7 months go by and I come back to be with my pregnant wife (who i should of never left alone, in the first place) and when I move back, Jef and Cody moved back shortly after. 

Things started happening with People Water. We got funded and started actually working and selling our product-this idea of ours started actually working! We started growing and growing and now i'm here in my office thinking this idea and all the time I sacrificed being away from my FAMILY actually is paying off. We went to Nicaragua the first of the year to do a well project, I just got back from Africa doing 2 well projects about a week and a half ago and now I leave to Haiti in 10 days to go bring clean water to people in Haiti. 
This idea is actually working and has been so amazing and life changing for me and to have a wife there that supported me the entire way was the most amazing thing that anyone has ever done. She could of said "what the hell are you doing?" (she probably did multiple times), but every time I saw her she was so happy and said "keep chasing your dreams, it will pay off. "

I don't know why I went on with this whole story, but I think that people need to know how amazing my wife is and how many sacrifices we have made throughout our marriage. Its been a very tough ride. We have been in really good spots,and in the worst of places...and when we were there we would hold each other and cry our hearts out until we're laughing and realize what we have.

 I think the key in life is marry someone who doesn't change for anyone, I married Wes for her, thats who I fell in love with. She's a mom of two, she's the most caring person I have ever met,  and she's funny as hell. We laugh at each other every day...she still calls me out when I am being ridiculous, and shes there for me when I have an awful day. 
I feel a lot of the time like 9-10 times people change when they get older or have kids. They feel like they need to act differently, Wes and I see this a lot even with our own friends they're completely different. Im not saying you dont need to change anything, cause you do, but I think you call that maturing. Just dont change the key things that make you happy. I'm not saying our marriage is perfect all the time cause its not, and we fight and get into arguments all the time, but one thing we have promised each other is we will talk it out so when we lay next to each other before bed we are ALWAYS on good terms. We have been married for almost 5 years now and its been a roller coaster, trust me. But at the end of the day the good ways out the bad 100 fold.

 When you’re struggling with something, look at all the people around you and realize that every single person you see is struggling with something, and to them, it’s just as hard as what you’re going through, just always be the best person you can be and you will know that whatever happens will be ok, it always is.

In all and all, why our marriage works is because we try to love and respect each other always, I let wes be wes and she lets me be me, we are each others biggest fans, and instead of crumbling in hard times we use those times to strengthen our relationship and grow as a couple, we embrace change, last year isn't the same as this year, and next year wont be the same as this year, And we simply don't care. We love change. I don't know if what I'm saying makes sense, I'm not the writer... Wes is. But, I do know I mean it.  that's all that matters.


--

Question numero dos...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Q: What do you eat? Do you work out? How'd you get back into shape after having two kids?

A: Its all mental.

That's not the answer you wanted to hear, I know.

But its the truth....I haven't weighed what I weigh now since the 7th grade (I was an early bloomer, mind you. And I'm the exact same height now as I was then....I'm just saying, this isn't unhealthy-its the exact opposite, actually).

The minute I started dealing with all my internal mental junk, my external junk started to change, too.

This, above anything, has changed the way I look. Swear.  Nursing a baby 24/7 doesn't hurt either, though. =)

But, beyond that, I try to go to the gym 3 or 4 times a week, and I've recently started running a bit. The longest stint has been 6.48 miles and I want to do a half marathon by October with my  sister-in-law Kylie. Hopefully we can pull it off!

And what do I eat???? HMmmmm...the real answer?

Whatever I want.

Really.

I find that if I limit myself it makes me crave food even more, then binge. So, what I am, I guess, is something you could call "food conscious".

I try to mentally track (or sometimes I track on my phone with this cool app by LiveStrong) the food I eat each day and plan ahead for the best, but if a chocolate cookie miraculously comes my way... I'm going to eat it. Actually, I'm probably really going to eat 3 or 4.

BUT! The biggest thing for me is vitamins and minerals.

No. I'm not talking Centrum....I'm talking real whole food vitamins. I get these by juicing, and when in don't juice I get them by taking ALIVE- its a vit/mineral combo with real whole fruits and vegetables mixed in.

Omegas are real important too, and pure soluble protein called spirulina,.....and high doses of vit. C, and an antioxidant called reversatrol, and all the B-vitamins, and.............I could go on for days.

So, If you're really interested watch a documentary called FOOD MATTERS. Find it on NetFlix and get educated! It's important stuff, guys. We live in America and have access to all these great resources and ways to learn about them. Utilize them!


PS... I almost forgot the most important vital part of my health regimen...WATER! I try to drink 90 ounces of water a day, and to keep it simple-I fill up a big 30ounce People Water bottle and drink half before breakfast and half after. Then I do the same for lunch and dinner. It doesn't happen all the time but I make an effort and that's all the matters!

Xoxo



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